New and Improved Small Tools including the Scirocco Portable Industrial Vacuum Cleaner

Posted By Tom Feltham on 12 May 2014

Posted in The Vintage Machinery Almanac

This article first appeared in Practical Engineering 1940 Vol1 No26. Information within the article is accurate as of 1940. Highlighted are new small tools utilised by Industry at the time.

The "Sirocco" Portable Industrial Vacuum Cleaner

By the introduction of a unit designed to combat the dust nuisance, Davidson and Co., Ltd., of Sirocco Engineering Works, Belfast, have added to their already extensive range of "Sirocco" products a portable industrial vacuum cleaner.

The equipment has been designed to meet the demand for a really heavy duty machine. Firstly, it is fitted with a positive rotary exhauster capable of setting up a very high suction, while the air volume handled remains constant, irrespective of the amount of material handled.

The filter is of ample size to deal with heavy concentrations of dust, and is arranged vertically to permit of easy and effective cleaning, which is also assisted by a special arrangement whereby the air flow through the filter can be reversed. The material collected is not stored inside the filter but in a small hopper beneath it, which can be easily discharged into a sack by turning a handle. This arrangement does not limit the capacity of the equipment by the capacity of a receiver or filter, and it can, therefore, be operated continuously.

The cleaner can also be used for blowing by means of a change-over valve, and special apparatus is provided for blowing out equipment which cannot be readily cleaned by suction. The standard equipment is complete with cleaning tools ready for service, but additional hose and trailing cable, or special types of motors and cleaning apparatus, can be supplied to meet specific requirements.

Steel Wire Products

The present emergency has resulted in a considerable increase in the activities of J. Stead and Co., Ltd., who are specialists in the production of pointed wires of all types, from card and gill pins for the jute and woollen mills to small steel pins for compass points, pivots for instruments, gramophone needles, and many other purposes.

In the last war the company undertook the mass production of blanks for round or rat-tail files and developed this process to such an extent that they now supply a large proportion of the blanks used for small round files in the trade. This special process ensures the production of a precision blank of greater regularity than previously obtained by hand grinding, and the company have actually supplied these blanks to firms in Switzerland, the home of precision files.

In recent years the firm have extended their range to include pointed wires of 18 per cent, tungsten and other alloy steels, while carbon drill steel blanks up to J in. diameter also form a large proportion of the company's annual output. This is a line which is in increasing demand, and further expansion is confidently anticipated.

Another specialised material produced by this firm is flattened wire with round edges in all qualities, both in soft and hard tempered condition. This material is used for all manner of small springs and pressings.

Vernon Vertical Miller and Borer

The "Vernon" combination vertical milling machine and jig borer, developed by Machinery Mfg. Co., Los Angeles, Calif., has been designed especially for work on jigs, fixtures, dies and general milling operations. It can be used for laying out various jobs requiring high accuracy and can be equipped with dial indicators and measuring plugs for precise work. A profiling attachment can be used for duplicating work within the range of the machine.

The machine has a maximum distance of 10-1/2in. from the top of the table to the bottom of the spindle. The quill is arranged so that slow feed is provided by handwheel, graduated to 0.001in., or the slow traverse can be disengaged and a rapid one engaged by turning a knurled knob. The rapid one-to-one hand traverse greatly increases speed in drilling operations, also in milling out cavities for dies and similar parts. The spindle drive is equipped with back gearing and provides eight spindle speeds.

The overall height of floor model is 71in., and the floor space required, 38 x 33in. Height from floor to table top is 41in.; maximum collet capacity, 1/2in., and spindle speed range, 250 to 4,200 r.p.m. The table size is 6 x 21in., with longitudinal table travel of 12in., and a cross travel of 6in. Movement of the sliding head is 10-1/2in., and quill travel, 3in. The net weight of the floor model is 700lb., while the bench model, without pedestal, weighs 500lb. A 1/2h.p., 1,750 r.p.m. motor is required to drive this machine.

The sole agents for the Machinery Manufacturing Co. in this country are the Broadway Engineering Co., Ltd., of Carlisle Rd., London, N.W.10.